Best Natural Supplements to Support Your Child’s Immune System - Cannabotech CBD Oils & Products Articles

Best Natural Supplements to Support Your Child’s Immune System

Joel Taylor - writer and editor for Cannabotech
By Joel Taylor
Kelli Harris
Edited by Kelli Harris

Updated April 14, 2023.

Young boy smiling and holding a supplement

If you were to draw a graph with the Y-axis representing the strength of your immune system and the X-axis representing your age, it would be parabolic in shape (a peak that declines on either end). It's true that your immune system weakens with age, but according to research, it is actually at its strongest around puberty.

The reason for this is that, although children do inherit some disease immunities from their biological parents, immunity to some illnesses can only be attained through exposure. As such, it's crucial to strengthen your child's immune system as early as possible.

How Does Your Child's Immune System Work?

Covering the intricacies of the immune system in totality would likely constitute enough information for a research paper or comprehensive textbook. In the interest of expediency, the mechanisms of the immune system are briefly discussed.

Most research agrees upon 2 subsystems that exist within the immune system.

The Innate System

The innate immune system is what individuals are born with and is designed to respond to general invading pathogens. Within this system are cells called phagocytes that engulf and digest foreign microbes in a process called phagocytosis. While this is the primary defensive system in infants, it operates mostly the same in adults.

The Adaptive System

This system is the one that generally gets stronger as you age and come into contact with diseases. Your body produces antibodies, specialised entities with an incredible ability to destroy a single type of cell (and are useless against others). As such, antibodies are responsible for immunity to diseases, making them far more potent than innate immune cells, but requiring prior exposure in order to be developed.

How to Naturally Boost Your Child's Immune System

There are some natural techniques you can implement in order to boost your kid's developing immune system from birth.

For example, research has shown that breastfeeding can pass on passive immunities from the mother to the child, reduce the development of allergies, and stimulate the immune system for long-term benefits.

Additionally, studies have linked sedentary behaviour to a weakened immune response in many individuals. Thus, it is vital to ensure your child remains active during their development, spending more time outdoors than in front of a screen.

Finally, numerous studies state that sufficient sleep is essential for healthy immune function, which means that your child should have a bedtime and you should be strict with it.

Natural Supplements for Your Child’s Immune System

All of the compounds listed below can be found in the form of supplements, multivitamins for kids, and healthy foods.

1. Zinc

Studies have linked zinc deficiencies to a weakened response and have suggested that zinc is vital to the functions of non-specific immune cells (the innate system). As such, zinc is a commonly used mineral for the immune system.

Some great sources of zinc are red meat, poultry, beans, and nuts.

2. Vitamin C

You may have heard the phrase, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," but did you know that there was proof to the expression? Its existence may have something to do with the vitamin C content of apples (around 9% of your recommended daily intake).

Research shows that vitamin C is essential to immune function as it reduces oxidative stress and enhances various mechanisms within the innate and adaptive immune systems, such as phagocytosis.

Citrus fruits, broccoli, and strawberries are great sources of vitamin C, making it a great natural immune booster for kids.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D has been shown to modulate the body's innate and adaptive immune responses by improving bone and calcium homeostasis. Like vitamin C, it is one of the best vitamins for developing a healthy immune system in kids.

Aside from sunlight, some great sources of vitamin D in food are oily fish, red meat, and eggs.

4. Functional Mushrooms

The benefits of functional mushrooms for developing a healthy immune system have been widely researched, and most of them seem to be effective with a surprisingly low risk attached. However, this should be brought up with your doctor first, as some mushroom supplements may cause adverse reactions if incorrectly administered.

Potential Risks of Immune-Boosters

The potential risks of immune-boosters are markedly low and usually only happen in rare occurrences or cases of overconsumption. Some of the more common symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Constipation and stomach cramps

It is also important to note that you cannot develop a dependency on immune-boosters, meaning that if you stop taking them, your immune system won't suddenly become weaker than usual.

The Final Verdict

Truth be told, the best immune-booster for kids is the cultivation of healthy lifestyle habits. This includes maintaining a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables and restrictions on processed foods, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Sticking to this will ensure that your child gets the necessary nutrients required to build a healthy immune system.

As for a specific product, if your child has a weakened immune system, it could be a sign of a deficiency. If this is the case, then a doctor's assessment can show you the exact product you need to give your child to supplement that deficiency.